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June 2011

May 2011

In which I should really stop window shopping online already

It was nice to have healthy children today, but I'd forgotten how LOUD they are. I know Jack was also just being a little twerp too, but MY GOD, CHILDREN. Must we narrate our entire day? In song? At the loudest decibel we can muster?

After an hour of solitary retail therapy at my local Pier 1, I am now home eating a giant bowl of Egg Over Rice. (All of my favorite comfort foods are now dishes Phillip's dad used to make for him when he was sick. But dudes! Fried eggs! Rice! Soy sauce! Spoon! YUM!) 

Not that we've really had the opportunity to take ACTION on sprucing up the new house, but we HAVE given it a lot of thought/discussion. And occasional moments wandering around Target or furniture stores, looking for The Piece that will make us say: Oh yes! That is what we want things to look like! Finally this weekend we decided that we had to stop this unfocused browsing and go with something large. Something big. Something we could make all the other decisions around. And since we really really really want a giant sectional couch, on account of having ROOM for one, we picked one out. We didn't buy it - oh no, that's what accumulating coupons and waiting for sales is for - but we know which one we want and now I can think about other stuff. THIS IS VERY EXCITING. 

See, there's stuff we just kind of want to replace, like our smaller red couches and our small-space friendly ottoman, and there's other stuff we just NEED. Like a TV stand and a rug to go over the fireplace hole and a rug to go in the giant entry way and some sort of little breakfast table for the space off the kitchen and tons of lighting since this house has none and things to put on the walls because we have a LOT of wall. And no, none of it is urgent or all that necessary, but you can't help but LOOK, right? And prioritize. Right now I'm thinking the priority is: sectional + living room floor lamp + living room rug. Specifically, these:

Elliott Sectional   (sorry, it won't let me save a picture and I'm on a weird computer without my Tools)





I LOVE this rug. It's pricey and Elizabeth says rugs like this often get worn out pretty fast, but my heart is sold. Our walls are a very pale yellow, the prospective new couch is slate gray, the carpet is brown... I think it could work? With some bluish or yellowish couch pillows? You think? 

Of course there are other items I have my eye on:

I want this rug for my entry way. 


I might as well post pictures of everything else at World Market. We will probably pick out a TV stand from their collections as well. Eventually. ONE THING AT A TIME, MAGGIE.

I stared at this lamp for a very long time tonight:


But it's not a Right Now item. So I came home with two of these (in white):


Also not Right Now items, but I was out for RETAIL THERAPY, which requires purchasing SOMETHING, and these were within the retail therapy budget. I hung them on the hooks outside on the deck. 

This table and chairs set (AND the sideboard, I could not have this table WITHOUT the gorgeous sideboard) were adorable, but nicer and pricier than I was intending for the space off the kitchen. And we're not out to replace the dining room table (yet) (and when we do, we will be buying A Huge Table, not a cutesy round one.)


I have no idea what to put on the walls. I have a lot of pictures, but they all seem SMALL. Eventually we're going to need a couple of Big Things. My only idea thus far is to snap up one of our artist friend's Way Cool Paintings, but as they are also Way Expensive, we're not worrying about that right now. 

The owners left all the window coverings, either shades or curtains (or both) and miraculously, I really like the curtains. They're all some sort of heavy, textured/patterned white on black or espresso rods (I can't tell). I like them. I won't be switching those out. I might want to add some curtains in the living room though, and the problem will be matching the rods. Again, not a Right Now Item. 

I also think about paint colors, bedroom furniture that will bring us out of the College Era, and decorating a girly nursery, but none of that's going to happen any time soon. Molly never got a girly nursery, on account of living in our closet until she was seven months old, and Third Baby won't get one either, on account of her brother and sister living in her room until we HAVE to move Third Baby in and shove the older kids into the bedroom downstairs. 

And this is before I even get to my FAVORITE things, which are Table Linens and Serving Dishes and Centerpieces. God help our bank account.

Juuuuuuune Niiiiiiiinth!

There's a teenage boy mowing the yard that backs up to ours and I'm restraining myself from running out onto the deck and shrieking, "MOW OURS TOO!" I mean, I COULD, but I'm wearing pajamas and, well, it just seems a little awkward.

Our yard is looking pretty shabby, but that's just one thing on the JUNE NINTH list. We started making it today, unintentionally. Phillip's clearing off the dining room table and I'm making my patented Half Irritated Sigh about the mess and Phillip mutters, "June ninth." We're looking at the boxes and tubs in our bedroom that really need to go downstairs, once we do a little bit of organizing, but we sigh and say, "June ninth." We dream up new furniture ideas or things we want to do in the kitchen, but shake our heads and say, "June ninth." We talk about the new automatic accounts we need to set up, but when we're done we say, "June ninth." June ninth is going to be one very busy day.

Actually, that's just the HALF of it. Do you know what's happening on Thursday, June ninth? Oh, I will TELL you. Phillip will be in a meeting that morning on the East Coast, fly home when it's over, and head directly, and I do mean DIRECTLY, to his convocation ceremony. I am for serious, people. He gets off the plane, heads to campus, puts on his cap and gown, and I will SEE HIM THERE.

The original plan was to fly home Wednesday evening, but then some important Work Team from Somewhere Far Away decided to visit the East Coast office as well, and that is the only overlapping day of their respective trips, and it's really IMPORTANT that Phillip meet these people, so he delayed his flight a day. When he told me this I just stared in amazement. And then I said, "June ninth. I will be pleasant about everything until June ninth."

We're also still sick, if you're interested. This is the Bug From Hell. Well, the kids are better at least, though it was touch and go this weekend. There was a big family party planned for Sunday at my brother's house in Port Angeles, and we were all dying to go, if only because we've been stuck at home for what feels like YEARS, but Jack was STILL acting miserable on Friday. I am not used to this. I am used to full on stomach flu, about 24 hours, then a miraculous recovery and life as usual. This is more like... half the stomach flu, then a week of Various Types of Intestinal Distress and Many Phone Calls To The Doctor's Office To Ask WTH? Jack perked up big time on Saturday and didn't display any of the, uh, contagious factors, so we woke up early on Sunday and took the ferry to the peninsula.

I'm glad we did, even if I spent half the time moaning on my brother's couch because 1) I still have a stomachache and 2) he has a brand new house full of brand new furniture and maybe I would ALSO like to walk into a furniture store and outfit my entire house in an afternoon. WHY NOT? 

But my family is always a blast and the kids were adorable and Phillip didn't start to feel sick until the drive home. I was almost in tears, you guys. Because I am still not 100% and Phillip has something like nine thousand things to do in the next two weeks and WAAAAAHHHH!

However! As per usual! Phillip's version of The Plague is (so far) a stripped down, sorry impostor. Has HE had to retch over a toilet at four in the morning? Nope! Not that I WANT him to, seriously, I AM BEING VERY NICE ABOUT THIS and YES HE IS STILL FEELING UNWELL and YES I AM TOO TAKING CARE OF HIM but jeez louise. It must be all the fortification via Lays Potato Chips.

We ARE going back to preschool tomorrow, goshdarnit. We WILL go back to Normal-Ish. I might even make plans to see friends this week. HOW NOVEL! Tonight we ventured out to the mall (ooooh!) and it would have been wonderful even if I HADN'T scored the cutest sundresses ever at the Crazy 8 sale, and even if we HADN'T more or less decided on buying a sectional from the Macy's furniture department. (EEEEE!!!) YAY FOR BEING OUT OF THE HOUSE!

And now it's time for my nightly Tums dosage. How was your weekend?

In sickness

Yesterday was one long prayer that everyone would feel better. Such a strange day. Phillip stayed home and took care of everyone, and even though I'd been sick all night and was totally, utterly worn out, I felt this huge burst of oh I've missed everyone being together. 

Phillip cleaned up all - and there were TONS - of dirty dishes. He vacuumed the entire upstairs. He went grocery shopping. He made breakfast and lunch. He took Molly out on errands in the morning, then took Jack out to ride his bike and play the electric drums at Best Buy. He took out trash. He played cards and marbles and iPad games and cleaned up vomit. I know he was checking work email on his phone, but I don't think he actually DID any work until the rest of us were in bed for the night. It was so, so nice. 

I'm not gonna lie - I sure appreciated getting to lie down whenever I wanted and watching three episodes of Downton Abbey while I was at it. But it wasn't just about not having to do all the dirty work and child wrangling (and Jack, for some reason, was back to lethargy and misery after being nearly himself the previous day.) It was just nice not to be the only adult in the house. And by dinnertime, when I was feeling so much better, we were tag teaming the kids and talking about the next day and recuperating together... Phillip hasn't been around all day, even on the weekends. It was just NICE. 

So you know I was dreading being sick, and then I got sick, and I seriously sent out a number of SOS emails and IMs and texts because intense misery needs company, but then my husband stayed home and instead of the The Worst Day Ever it was almost enjoyable. 

All day I kept wondering what I'd do if he was on a business trip. 

I hate this word, it makes me cringe, but he's such a good PARTNER. I think, in most cases, we work really well together, and when we don't I think we can (usually, if occasionally painfully) communicate why. Sometimes my friends talk about husbands who can't deal with small babies or never clean up after themselves or constantly demand space and time away or miss their pre-baby lives or don't help out with the kids or never realize what needs to be done around the house. Almost every time I hear one of these stories I give silent thanks for my husband, who has manned up from the beginning. I can think of one particularly nasty fight we had when Jack was six or seven months old, when we were both suffering from lack of sleep and Phillip was checking out and I was feeling put upon, but honestly, other than that, he's been RIGHT THERE with the kids. During these grad school years when I've felt like the absolute last item on his list, at least the kids weren't last. He'd get home from a business trip and launch right into one of their games, or getting up with them, or putting them to bed. And if he hadn't put them before me I would have been furious. 

Things aren't perfect, obviously. He still leaves his damn socks all over my house. 

Supposedly we get most of him back in two weeks. I'm reserving judgment. At the precise time he started school, his career went [good] crazy, and I've mentioned his revolting work ethic, yes? The cynical part of me thinks he's going to fill up the extra time with more work, but lately he's been really on top of my fears. I get random texts and emails I never got before, about how things will be different. There are certain things we could jump into after graduation, but we're both in agreement about taking a break from anything Big for a while. And it was his idea to go on a little just-us trip sometime this summer, if we can make it work. 

I just love him. And I've really really missed him. 

June 9

OH INTERNET. I feel like every time I come talk to you lately I am a Big Fat Blubbering Mess. The kids' bug caught up with me today and rendered me pretty much pointless all afternoon. I had to ask Phillip to come home early (and stay home tomorrow) and now he's giving the kids a bath and I'm sitting here wondering how in the world I'm going to make it until June 9. JUNE NINE. That is Phillip's official graduation date. (Not counting the week-long class he'll have to take in July, but we are not thinking that far ahead, folks. JUNE NINE.)

It seems like I've had something thrown at me every week for months now. House stuff, work stuff, sickness stuff, decisions about schools and jobs and summer plans. I still feel nearly as tired as I was in the first trimester and this whole week I've been dreading the inevitable - Phillip and me getting sick too. So far he's okay, but I'm out for the count. I was feeling incapacitated BEFORE, what am I supposed to do NOW?

The one productive thing I did today was write a post on the Catholic blog, but it inexplicably disappeared (I am blaming the MacBook) and I feel like I can't even get THAT done. 

I DID keep the children fed and watered today, which I hear is the most important thing. Are we all alive? Yes, most definitely. 

I just finished watching the news - tornadoes, tornadoes, more horrifying tornadoes - and I should just shut my mouth right now. 

I thought this would be a nice easy slope, a slow but calm ride to the end of grad school. Even with all the house stuff going on, I thought: at least that will be DONE. But I can't tell you how much it bothers me to not get anything DONE in this house, because one or more of us is unavailable to help, because we don't have time to go anywhere or get anything done. I thought at least we could get back to normalish, but because of the plague we haven't gone anywhere or seen friends and I don't leave the house and it feels like it's never going to end. It's feeling more like a rickety old rollercoaster that I have to pedal forward myself. 

I feel bad leaving Phillip with the dirty dishes and the crumbs on the carpet and the mess left over from painting Sleeping Beauty entirely blue, but he seems cheerful enough and I'm exhausted. 

I was panicking to a friend today and she said that I would get through it, and I don't have to get through it NICELY. I can curse and scream and kick and that's okay too. That was freeing to hear, in a weird irresponsible sort of way. But what I mostly want to do is sleep through it. All the way to June.

The 'Mighty' now refers to 'Not Sick! Yet!'

The good thing about sick kids is that you (well, perhaps I should just speak for myself) WANT to coddle and spoil and baby and placate them.* They're whiny and miserable, but you know WHY. You UNDERSTAND. When one child begins to wail because the other child is singing the song that HE wanted to sing, at least you can say to yourself, "Well, he's just not himself today." This phrase has the benefit of being true, while also totally ignoring the fact that, actually, this sort of argument IS a daily occurrence, stomach bug or no stomach bug. 

Poor Jack woke up scandalously early, was in a horrible funk all morning - enough for Phillip to apologize before leaving for work. But then he fell asleep on the couch sometime in the morning and basically did not leave that spot all day. And I was content to leave him there, fetching him glasses of water and ordering Netflix to play as many Busytowns as his little heart desired. Jack can be lethargic and spacy and whiny when he wants to Get Me, but otherwise he's a pretty active, giggly, shouty, energetic little kid. So seeing him passed out on the couch all day just turns me into the most permissive mother in the world. TV all day? Cheez Its for lunch? A ride in the car just to RIDE IN THE CAR? Sure! Why not! 

Molly, at least, is herself again. Mostly. I fear the Potty Situation will never right itself, but at least SHE wasn't passed out on the couch all day (although her version of "passed out on the couch" is "glued to my lap". Much MUCH worse.) 

The big disappointment tonight is that we had to skip Jack's preschool open house. I knew they were working on art projects and I love hearing them tell me how awesome he is, so I'm just bummed. I'm bummed that we won't go there next year, I'm bummed I'm missing out on Jack showing off his stuff, grumble grumble grumble. Damn you, Emotional Attachments! I hate that our whole family is on this sort of downward slide towards mid June, when grad school will be officially, though not technically, over (he still has a week long class to finish in July). It seems there are a dozen different special nights and appointments and last days of various things that I, in particular, just have to power through. There are all these things I want to do with the house, but there's no time to do them, not until school is out. So I'm just waiting around, waiting for preschool to be over, waiting for Phillip to have time to talk about Where To Put The Bookshelves, that sort of thing. But then summer is never calm, not when you have twelve zillion people visiting your family (this is a GOOD thing, just a BUSY thing) and all that to say you are never going to see pictures of the inside of my house. I still have a carpet hole in my living room, for pete's sake. 

AAAANYWAY. Today I found some leftover Easter candy, so, score! Also I've discovered, via my equally-fixated-on-British-wartime-mysteries father, a fabulous new detective series (by Charles Todd) (a MOTHER/SON WRITING TEAM) AND I found out that Downton Abbey is on Netflix. There was a time when everyone was referring to Downton Abbey on Twitter and I KNEW it was my kind of show but I didn't have the ability to watch it and NOW? Now I have 1) a comfortable living room and 2) Netflix working on my TV again and I am in Turn Of The Century British Heaven. God bless Netflix and God bless the Kindle. 

*It just occured to me that my HUSBAND will read this and think, "Why doesn't she want to coddle ME when I'M sick?" I'm going to have to think up an answer to that. Something along the lines of, "Well, you aren't FOUR."

Miralax will now sue me for defamation

Upon hearing that Molly's Intense Intestinal Distress was on its fourth day, the doctor frowned and said, "Nah, that's something viral. Something viral and bad timing with the Miralax."

So now my guilt over making my baby sick has been replaced with guilt over how many OTHER babies I've made sick, because I thought Molly was just reacting to the Miralax and not ACTUALLY sick.

Today was marginally better. Even though she woke up at five and had to take a morning nap for the first time in forever, she woke up from her super long afternoon nap a mostly different girl. Cheery, interested in toys, interested in food, interested in her grandparents who came to visit. Still kind of clingy, but we stayed away from The Facilities and I felt like the worst was over.

We were going to meet some family friends for dinner (YAY for Big Chinese Celebratory Dinners!) and the kids and I went to pick up Phillip on our way downtown. Then, right as I was parking the car behind Phillip's building, Jack said, "My tummy hurts!" And you never really know with him. He's a bit of a whiny baby at times, and I thought maybe he was just tired (he was) and tired of his sister getting all the love (that too) but THEN he barfed all over himself.

I wasn't able to haul him out of the car until the third wave of barf, and by that time he was covered, the car seat was soaked, and I was not smelling so great myself. Phillip arrived with towels and plastic bags and brand new company t-shirts and we mopped things up the best we could, cancelled on the grandparents and drove back home. I put everything in the laundry, Jack in the tub and left the car to Phillip.

And Jack barfed a few more times. So. Apparently it is something viral.

My kids don't get sick very often, and when they do it doesn't REALLY faze me. I mean, it sucks and it's hard work and no sleep and your babies are sad pathetic little blobs for a few days, but whatever, people get sick, life goes on. THIS TIME, however, I am TERRIFIED of when it will be my turn. I just... I cannot deal with that. I can't. Not on top of everything else. Not when my house is still a moving-in-disaster, when there are potato chips ground into the carpet, when I still have loads of preschool and moving paperwork to take care of, when Phillip has all his end-of-the-program school stuff going, when I've JUST NOW reentered Life and made plans with all of my people. I can't get sick. WHAT WILL I DO???

Phillip says he'll stay home, but... UGH. I'm sitting here praying that the cramping I feel in my own stomach is simply from being pregnant, or the smell of barf that still lingers. I can't do that. I cannot take three or four days off from everything. Even if I DO get to lay in bed that whole time.

So anyway, there ends the Mystery Miralax Episode. LAME, huh? SUPER bad timing. I'm supposed to wait a few days until I feel sure about Molly being past this stomach bug, then start again with a half dose, or even a fourth. I hope that this becomes routine eventually, because I'm really hoping for her to be trained in time for preschool in the fall. And right now that seems impossible.

Right now Jack and Molly and Phillip are on the couch watching (what else) Busytown Mysteries. Jack holds a bowl in his lap, Molly munches on a peanut butter sandwich and Phillip had to give up his fancy Chinese dinner for my leftover omelette from yesterday's brunch. We're shooting for an early bedtime and then draping the kids' room in plastic, the better to quarantine whatever it is that threatens our desperately needed productivity.

In the meantime, my laptop is the only internet-accessing-device that is not accessing the internet. Something ELSE to cry about. SEE YOU TOMORROW.

ETA: I forgot to mention that the "best" part of the barfing is Molly flapping her hands, looking grossed out/worried and going "oh! oh! oh!". And then turning away. Because "I don't like that noise."

Adventures with Miralax

Even though we spent all Saturday waiting for the Qwest dude to show up, the Internet is still not a given in the Cheung household. At this point the Apple products are working, but not my laptop or Jack's or the TV wireless thingy and nothing really puts my husband in a Mood like misbehaving computer parts. I think he has something like forty-seven work and school projects to be doing tonight, but instead he is cursing at the various computers in our house, there are cables all over the place and every once in s while he comes up for air with a comment like, "I'm gonna have to spend some money." That's the usual outcome in these situations. Not that I mind, of course, since the very social fabric of my life depends on an Internet connection. I've been forced to work with these MacBook things, though, and I'm not ashamed to say it: I'm a PC. It doesn't matter how much I work on Phillip's computer, I can't get used to it. I need a backspace AND a delete key FTLOG! And I dont want to hear from you Apple people either. Nothing about how only the APPLE products are currently working, or how easy I'm finding it to type out a post on an iPad. Thus concludes the most first-worldy complainer paragraphs I have ever written. The other thing we did this weekend, besides wait for the Qwest guy, was worry ourselves to death over Molly's, ah, intense intestinal distress. It's terrible. For some reason potty training became... A traumatic experience? I mean, it wasn't a problem and then suddenly it was and we just decided: okay, no pressure. Pushing only makes it worse. (Ha! Pun intended!) But then it got worse. Like, even blueberries were having no effect. Sorry Future Molly! So I mentioned it t her double ear infection appointment and the doctor was super wonderful, making me feel better about how common this is and everything, and recommend MIRALAX. And OH DEAR. This weekend we had the opposite problem and it is SO SAD. I feel like it's my fault. She's a clingy kind to begin with but I seriously did not put her down all weekend. We took her off everything (she hasn't eaten in three days anyway) and it's better, but not all better. I. Keep trying to think how to switch up the dosage and her diet and what the right pattern and consistency would be and I just feel horrible! Also pressured because we've been doing this potty training thing for a while and I feel like we're behind where we started. Anyway, Jack has his four year checkup tomorrow and as is usually the case with these appointments! All my questions are about the other kid. And now I need to sign off because typing on this thing suddenly got weird and I can't figure out how to fix it and also I AM A PC.

There will probably be way more than seven of these

*The internet is supposed to be up and running today, but I haven't found the magic button that turns everything on. So I am still on the fake wireless which, if we must be honest, is sucking my will to live. When your ENTIRE LIFE requires internet, fake wireless is not the way to go. FYI. 

*Due to the fake wireless I have something like nine trillion emails. Nine trillion JUNK emails. The week we were moving and I didn't have time to brush my teeth let alone manage my online world, I figured I get, on average, about 60 to 70 junk emails a day. God knows what you guys get. Usually I'm checking my email all day long and deleting them as I go, but when you let them pile up? Gak. So I have been slowly slooooowly responding to each and every one with an "unsubscribe" or a "take me off your list". Seriously, I am not the blogger you want promoting your organic food product or sharing college tips for graduating high school seniors. LEAVE ME ALONE.  

*Today was the first day I felt like I wasn't just bumbling about someone else's house. I decided to put on my big girl pants and Deal with the kitchen. I piled up the recycling, rearranged the appliances, stashed junk in the junk drawer, and set up the new coffee pot. My coffee pot broke and I am not a coffee drinker (at home, anyway) but if I don't have coffee brewing when certain female relatives drop by, there is gnashing of teeth and rending of garments. My requirement for a new coffee pot: Red. I bought the only red one at Target. The end. 

*I was also excited for today because we were supposed to get our PIANO. Which was supposed to be delivered yesterday and was POSTPONED. It's my in-laws' piano, actually, but they promised it to us years and years ago, as long as we had a place to put it. Now we do, but apparently we will have to completely dismantle the living room balcony to hoist the piano up from the driveway and into the house. So right now the piano is hanging out in the dark downstairs playroom. Whatever. My FIL is on this one. 

*I found the neighborhood playground today. Maybe it was packed because the weather was gorgeous, maybe because it was relatively small, but it was three times as full as any of the playgrounds in my old neighborhood. It was also full of people who were NOT upper-middle-class white Lululemon moms and their Hanna Anderssoned kids. I liked this. 

*Except for the twerpy 8-year-olds who were staring down my LITTLE BABIES and when I came up to rescue them, demanded of me, "Where are THEY from?" I have never wanted to smack a playground kid more than I did today. 

*I signed the kids up for preschool. I think it will work out. And as always, I appreciate your comments on my school posts. I know I keep writing the same thing over and over, but THAT IS HOW MY BRAIN WORKS.

*Both kids, even Molly, are eating, like, three bites of breakfast, then complaining their tummies are full, then coming back around ten and demanding lunch. They often do this with lunch and dinner as well. It drives us CRAZY. We're dealing with it in a number of ways, but mostly I want to know that other kids do this. Other kids that are not my friends' kids, obvs, as ALL OF THEM EAT. GAH.

*Speaking of eating, you know those little personal watermelons? I've been averaging about one a day. They are DELICIOUS. Also I denied myself watermelon for two summers because it has a sky high glycemic index number, which you want to avoid if low carbing it is the method that works for you. But dudes. Am pregnant. I SHALL EAT MY WEIGHT IN WATERMELON.

*I went to Sephora with the intention of buying Erase Paste. But it looked... I don't know. It didn't blend well or something. Maybe I did it wrong. Or it was too sticky? Too goopy? I bought the Boi-ing concealer instead and LOVE. I feel like I am a walking talking Dark Undereye Circle and concealer is the one thing I cannot live without. 

*Also I can't decide if I should cut my hair. I haven't since... March? And it is looking straggly indeed. Here are my thoughts: I like the shorter style, because I feel like it's a STYLE instead of long, flat, boring, do-nothing hair. It's also so much faster. On the other hand, I kind of miss DOING my hair. I LIKE pins and flowers and clips and putting it up and all that. So what I'm thinking is I let it grow into some kind of stacked bob or something. If only because I do not have the funds for a cut every six weeks. This was poor planning on my part. 

*I felt like a good mom today. No real reason, I think I just was more... engaged? I think? Than usual? I decided that instead of freaking out on Jack every day for being such a pill and feeling like a rotten mom every night, I needed to work on preventing the pill-ness. And this kid THRIVES on positive attention. I don't know why I'm not immediately clued into this. I mean, he IS a mini-me. I've been working to pile on the affirmation when he deserves it, and when he starts to bust out the brattiness, sitting down and paying attention to him instead of yelling. WHAT A NOVEL IDEA. But this is so so so hard for me. I want to do MY stuff and he should just BEHAVE and don't I spend TONS OF TIME WITH YOU ANYWAY WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT. But dudes, just sitting down and doing a puzzle with him for twenty minutes can totally change the mood of the room and make bedtime a sweet thing instead of a THANK GOD IT'S OVER thing. As a selfish person and easily-bored person who hoards her personal time, it's hard to recognize when I need to put everything down and just read my kid a book, but I AM trying.

*But I still have no idea how to stop the fighting about So and So sitting next to So and So. I mean, I've been there, I've done that, I have degrees in MOMMY HE'S BREATHING ON ME, but still. No ideas for that one. 

Update on the brand of baby

It's old news if you follow me on Twitter, but: GIRL. 

I wrote a little bit more about The Girlness for Parenting, but I see it's not up. Yet. Hmm.

I thought it would be a boy. Because 1) Molly is the only girl in her generation, on both sides of our family, and we thought she was a fluke, and 2) this pregnancy feels more Jack-like to me. Both of those observations are built on an extreme lack of medical knowledge, so there you go. 

Aaaand, that's all you get for today since I made my daughter sob when I told her I had to use the computer instead of holding her. Great parenting this morning, folks. I can't wait to see what she does when I HAVE to hold a new baby. 


Oh you guys, I am losing my mind. Seriously. It wasn't until I got the reminder phone call this afternoon that I remembered I have an appointment tomorrow. THE appointment. The one where you find out, if you're lucky, if you're having a boy or girl. And I immediately lost my, uh, fabulous cool, because 1) Phillip was supposed to come with me and there'd be no way to make that happen on such short notice and 2) I had no babysitter. So of course the first thing I do is tweet my panic. AS YOU DO. 

But a few frantic phone calls later it all resolved itself. My husband did not need any help cluing into the Importance of this appointment and cleared his schedule and checked the bus times and will be there. AND my sister is available to watch the kids. Guys, it totally pays to be related to someone who works a baker's schedule, FYI. 

So everything is worked out, but I am sitting here feeling more anxious than I have in months, and I don't really know why. I think part of it is just how little attention I've paid thus far to Third Baby. Thanks to the meds taking care of The Crazy, this pregnancy has most resembled my Jack pregnancy, in that I've had barely any sickness, barely any noticeable pregnancy Stuff, and, like both of my previous pregnancies, I still look like I've eaten too much cake, not pregnant. (People say "you're barely showing!" like this is a good thing, but I know that what they REALLY mean is that I just look like a fat girl, not a pregnant girl. And when half of what I'm wearing is Pre-Jack-Pre-Weight-Loss clothes, how can I blame them?) (And WOE, to think half my "maternity" clothes were MY REGULAR CLOTHES.) 

Whoa, hello tangent! 

Anyway. That's part of it. Just knowing that The Appointment is tomorrow and I haven't really enjoyed my previous appointments. I don't LIKE seeing all the insides and the measuring makes me antsy and it's uncomfortable and you never know what sort of This Could Be A Horrible Thing But We Won't Know Until The Baby Is Born Surprise! they're going to stick you with at the end. 

Another part, I think, is how many people have lost babies in the last few months and how I am not one of them and the guilt is... I don't know. I have been praying for those babies and mothers and I just feel so sorrowful about all of it. The injustice. I'm thankful I can feel Third Baby bobbing around in there, and then wondering why I've been blessed with three - so far - totally uneventful pregnancies. And it's not all sympathy, you know. I'm totally the person who wonders when the other shoe is going to drop, so it's fear too. How far will my luck go? 

The rest of the anxiousness is the typical irrational stuff I come up with when I'm already in the Irrational Place. Things that did not bother me yesterday, but suddenly seem huge and overbearing tonight. Things that are stupid, or have a .0000003% chance of actually occurring, or things that I just MAKE UP. All that is getting to me tonight too. 

I WOULD be drinking a nice glass of wine right about now, but I'll have to make do with left over birthday cake, the Kindle, and staying up until The Good Wife season finale. Also a back rub from Phillip. 

P.S. I think we are going to find out! I was still very much on the fence, until I started asking Jack and Molly if they wanted a brother or a sister. Turns out they think they are going to get their OWN baby. As in, Molly would like "a sister baby" and Jack is going to have a boy baby and I haven't quite been able to explain that 1) there is only ONE baby and 2) we don't get to PICK which one we want and it occurred to me that it would be nice to just KNOW and stop the whole "what kind of baby do YOU want!" nonsense. I'm calling it "managing expectations".

P.P.S. We've had the names picked out since the beginning. I know. We are superstars.

P.P.P.S. My guess is: boy